KeyMission series

2017.6.30Action Cameras

Discover a world of unprecedented images Your new partner in adventure, from Nikon

Designed for new shooting experiencesfrom left
Mr.Hiroyuki Asano, Product designer
Mr.MitsuoNakajima ,Product designer
Mr.Fune Suzuki, Product designer
Mr.Tomohiro Hoshi, Product Designer

Recent innovations in image-capture methods are allowing people to do things that were impossible with conventional cameras. We realized that we needed to satisfy their needs. Our design goal was to let users stay focused on whatever activity they were doing, while capturing it all with a sense of realism.

The KeyMission series offers three models with different angles of view, allowing it to meet the demands of a huge variety of shooting scenarios. Users can choose whichever one is most suitable for their desired purpose.

“Guard Design” ensures durability

*Some mockups are included.

KeyMission action cameras are both shockproof and waterproof. We wanted to give a clear visual indication of the robustness and durability of the cameras, so we gave them a sophisticated form that also keeps the camera body and lenses well protected. We call it “Guard Design”.

We also paid attention to the impression they project as Nikon cameras. We had detailed discussions based on a wide-ranging analysis of user preferences, considering everything from the blacks of conventional camera body exteriors to the bright neon colors often employed for sport products. Based on this, we selected an appropriate look and feel that evokes the world of the KeyMission series.

Shoot first, think later

Unlike the “point and shoot” approach with conventional cameras, action camera users need to be able to operate them without having to think. The shooting buttons of all three models are positioned so that they can be pushed without looking at the camera. This is especially important for the KeyMission 360, which can record in 360 degrees, capturing every direction at once. It's a completely new way of shooting, and we conducted repeated tests to determine the very best position for the buttons.

We also assumed that people would often be operating the cameras while wearing gloves, such as when skiing and snowboarding, or in situations where they had reduced mobility, like scuba diving. That's why we employed a large shooting button with a slip-resistant design.

Developed through real-world use

*Some mockups are included.

We conceived the cameras and accessories in the KeyMission series as a complete set. When designing accessories, we focused on how they would be used and attached while shooting. Our designers came up with new ideas while testing the cameras and accessories in practice, and created sketches and prototypes based on their findings.

For accessories, functionality is the essence of design, which is why our designers took part in each stage of the development process. There was unprecedented cooperation between multiple departments, and we produced numerous prototypes and conducted extensive testing until the final form was decided.

The challenge of presenting detailed
information on a small LCD monitorMr.Junichi Ukaji, GUI designer

Due to the nature of the product, the KeyMission series action cameras utilize extremely small LCD monitors. It was a major challenge to determine exactly how to display a variety of information on these small screens, while still ensuring easy operation.

Simple GUI for action scenes

The LCD monitor on the KeyMission 80 measures 1.7 inches and the KeyMission 170 just 1.5 inches, which is far smaller than on conventional cameras. These screens need to display operation buttons, movies and various other information. We tried to make the display as simple and practical as possible to avoid confusing users.

In principle, the KeyMission series action cameras are designed to be used under unfavorable conditions. That's why we gave top priority to making the display easily visible and ensuring that users could shoot under any circumstances. By experimenting with various different sizes and types of text, we were able to enhance readability and visibility despite the small screen size.

Intuitive operation that doesn't take users out of the zone

When the menu button is pressed, six icons appear on the opening screen. The icons were deliberately chosen so that users could understand them immediately, allowing them to shoot and operate the camera with the absolute minimum delay.

The KeyMission 80 is essentially designed to be operated by the thumb. To ensure easy handling, we tested it with a variety of users, including people with long nails, and measured the space required for secure handling. We conducted such tests repeatedly to determine the optimum size.

Quick shooting is another key phrase for these cameras. In addition to product design, the right GUI is crucial to make sure the cameras fulfill their original concept: being ready to take out and shoot with immediately. We had to wrestle with numerous problems that aren't an issue with conventional cameras, but after much trial and error, we achieved a GUI that's both intuitive and user-friendly.

The KeyMission series of action cameras enables you to shoot in unique ways that conventional cameras cannot provide. Of course, we want people to use these cameras in a wide variety of ways, but we also hope they'll explore beyond the realm of conventional action camera imaging and discover their own unique worlds of adventure.


KeyMission 360


KeyMission 170


KeyMission 80